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LCBO Vintages Aug 2 release notes of the "best" wines under $25

====?>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *UNDER* $20

Tanunda Creek Vineyards Loan Wines Special Reserve Semillon 2005 Unoaked Barossa, +301127, $16.95: delicious over-the-top waxy “Hunter Valley” style MVC semillon, 13.5% ABV, twist top. Even better as a mid-course BBQ wine. QPR: 92.

TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
1.Angels Gate Old Vines Chardonnay 2011 VQA Beamsville Bench, +116350, $23.95. QPR: 93
2.Nyarai Cellars Viognier 2012 VQA Niagara, +378414, $21.95. QPR: 90
3.Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Marlborough, +164228, $24.95. QPR: 90
4.Chateau Thieuley Cuvee Francis Courselle Blanc 2010 Bordeaux, +2170, $22.95. QPR: 90
5.Domaine du Chardonnay Chablis 2012, +183574, $21.95. QPR: 90
6.Henry of Pelham Family Tree White 2010 VQA Niagara, +251116, $17.95: meant to accompany the highly rated Red reviewed a few issues ago. This one is quality through mostly chardonnay (including musque), with gewurztraminer (29%) and viognier (14%). Try alone as a sipper. QPR: 89.
7.Fincas Patagonicas Zolo Torrontes 2013 Mendoza, +183913, $13.95: this is a dryish version, sip or food, with the lingering aromatic floral tones. Long finish promotes this wine to first-course food. QPR: 90.
8.Ventisquero Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Casablanca Valley, +211904, $13.95: terrific MVC savvy from Chile, 12.5% ABV, affordable. QPR: 89.
9.Chateau de la Bigotiere Sevre & Maine Sur Lie Muscadet 2012, +377739, $15.95: definite accompaniment to the catch of the day, straight down the middle MVC muscadet, 12% ABV. QPR: 89.
10.Domaine de Millet Colombard/Ugni Blanc 2012 IGP Cotes de Gascogne, +380733, $14.95: a good value summer food wine, lemons and herbs (garrigue) abound, nicely light at 11.5% ABV. Twist top. QPR: 89.
11.Camp Romain Laudun Cotes du Rhone-Villages Blanc 2013, +380725, $17.95: loaded with floral notes but better with seafood with its grenache blanc, clairette, viognier, and roussanne blend. 13% ABV, cork finish. QPR: 89.
12.Darting Durkheimer Michelsberg Riesling Kabinett 2012 Pfalz, +950212, $18.95: delicious exotic fruit tones, with citric backbite that also makes it useful with a first course, in addition to just sipping as an off-dry wine. 9.5% ABV, twist top. QPR: 89.
13.Boutari Santorini 2013 Greece, +47985, $18.95: extremely fresh and youthful Santorini, the current darling white from Greece. Good acid and green fruit balance, lemon-fresh finish. QPR: 89.

TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
1.Evans & Tate Metricup Road Cabernet/Merlot 2011 Margaret River, +376848, $22.95. QPR: 90.
2.Teusner The Riebke Shiraz 2012 Barossa, +48470, $24.95. QPR: 90.
3.Nederburg Manor House Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 WO Western Cape, +68767, $16.95: classic cabby, cork finish, 14.5% ABV. Will please everyone. QPR: 89.
4.Collefrisio Zero Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2011, +379040, $16.95: made in a modern North American appeal style with some finishing acid. Organic. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
5.Piccini Sasso Al Poggio 2008 IGT Toscana, +134809, $19.95: affordable supertuscan blend, 14% ABV, red and black fruit, some raisins, drying out nicely after six years. QPR: 89.
6.Tommasi Poggio Al Tufo Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 IGT Toscana, +203927, $17.95: soft and fruity in North American style, 1 year in oak and should improve. 13% ABV. QPR: 89.
7.Arrocal 2012 Ribera del Duero, +67868, $17.95: All tempranillo, with depth, flavours, and oaking – all are here. 14% ABV. QPR: 89.

about 8 hours ago
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1

Little Sister Indonesian Food Bar

It's also a fun place, great cocktails.

2 days ago
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Bloor west restaurant for family dinner

Try the Old Mill Sunday buffet...

Jul 29, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Bad Service - Libretto's on Ossington

Can we vote? Just close it, thanks...

Jul 29, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
3

Bad Service - Libretto's on Ossington

when dessert comes, not only do I ask for the bill but also I give them my card. De rigeur, no exceptions.

Jul 26, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

SOUPE DE POISSON ( as they do in France)

Follow up -- bought 2 mason jars of soupe de poisson ($15.50 each plus hst), and one of smoked duck ragu ($18 plus tax).

Soupe can feed three people, excellent balance although you can definitely taste the saffron. More salty than I would like it, but I am a minimalist. My wife liked the salt. Had it with grilled homemade croutons and gruyere, too tired to make rouille tonight. Maybe with the next bottle.

Good stuff, I'll be back to Chabichou, after trying Batifole version.

Jul 25, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

SOUPE DE POISSON ( as they do in France)

Snarf, thank you for the lead. The soupe is the hard part, I can live without the other bits or do them myself.

Jul 23, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

SOUPE DE POISSON ( as they do in France)

Folks, I'm looking for a soupe de poisson as in France (pulverized fish pieces, gruyere, crostini, aioli). Batifole has one -- are there any other places? I used to get it at Novotel when they had an all-French menu last century...

Any help would be appreciated -- even if it is in a bocal at a food store!!

Jul 22, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

LCBO Vintages July 19 release notes

I started using it when I thought the wine might/should have a twist top, given its popularity. So I've used it about four years.

You are the first to have drawn it to my attention, despite the 8 million readers i have (JOKE), I will change it to "cork closure", thanks for noticing...

Jul 22, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

LCBO Vintages July 19 release notes

The wine has a cork closure, not a screw cap...

Jul 21, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

LCBO Vintages July 19 release notes

15 times? wow .. I must try that. Normally, I do it once or twice ... 15...builds muscles too!!!

Jul 20, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

LCBO Vintages July 19 release notes

TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
1.Campo di Sasso Mount Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Marlborough, +694752, $21.95, 90 points.
2.Steve Bird Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Marlborough, +178319, $18.95: distinctive good quality savvy, with fruit and acid balance in play, 13.5% ABV, twist top. QPR: 89.
3.Domaine Bellevue Touraine Sauvignon Blanc 2012, +82305, $13.95: good value in savvy MVC, cork finish, 12.5% ABV. Gold Medalist. QPR: 89.
4.Code Inspiration Viognier 2013 IGP Pays d'Oc, +380758, $14.95: affordable tropical and plush aromatics with some savouriness on the palate, 13.5% ABV, from a co-op of 167 winemakers. QPR: 89.
5.Dr.Pauly-Bergweiler Riesling 2012 Mosel, +596601, $13.95: another treasure with intense, delicious orchard fruit, twist top, 10% ABV, finishing dry. QPR: 89.
6.Le Monde Pinot Bianco 2012 Fruili Grave, +372417, $17.95: good depth, minerals, orchard fruit, finishes dry but with a kick. Better with food. QPR: 89.
7.Miguel Torres Gran Vina Sol Chardonnay 2012 Penedes, +171660, $15.95: made since late 1960s, amazing value for a barrel fermented chardonnay coming in at 13.5% ABV. Now in twist top. QPR: 89.
8.Paco & Lola Albarino 2012 Rias Baixas, +350041, $18.95: aromatic beginnings, mid-palate check on fruit, lovely lemon and mineral finish. Twist top, 12.5% ABV. QPR: 89.

TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
1.Castello di Gabbiano Chianti Classico Riserva 2009, +216309, $22.95, 89 points.
2.Convento San Francisco 2005 Ribera del Duero, +206409, $21.95, 90 points.
3.Paul Hobbs Vina Cobos Felino Malbec 2012 Mendoza, +118067, $19.95: good whiff of California sunshine here, with plummy black fruit. Unfiltered. QPR: 88.
4.Small Gully Mr. Black's Little Book Shiraz 2011 Barossa, +287979, $17.95: tight aromatics with some mint, smoky on the finish, lots of fruit on the mid-palate. Twist top. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
5.Chateau Haut-Dina 2010 Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux, +374389, $15.95: underpriced compelling red wine with Bordeaux character in spades. 13% ABV. QPR: 89.
6.Vallone Vereto Salice Salentino 2010 Puglia, +379255, $17.95: overwhelming BBQ wine, delicious, 13.5% ABV, Very smooth. QPR: 89.
7.Renzo Masi Chianti Riserva 2009, +969469, $15.95: excellent price for a nicely aged Chianti from anywhere in the region made to the Riserva level. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
8.Abad dom Bueno Crianza 2006 Bierzo, +244699, $14.95: another interesting and valued wine from outside the Rioja area, North American appeal. From mencia grapes. QPR: 89.
9.CVNE Vina Real Plata Crianza 2009 Rioja, +657411, $18.95: it looks as if Spain has the last values in wines under $20. Here is another one, an MVC Rioja at a bargain price, aged 5 years already. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 89.

Jul 20, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1

SUMMERLICIOUS 2014

FYI, my wife and I went to 10 lunches at varying prices $15 - $25. Total was $610.82, which included taxes, tips, seniors' TTC, but NO BEVERAGES or EXTRAS. That was $61.08 for two, on average, all in, at each of Chiado, Arisu, La Fenice, Harlem, Quince, Pangea, Tutti Matti, Frida, Splendido, and Globe (in that order).

We enjoyed them all, some more than others. No problems with service (this is lunch).

Jul 18, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
2

How much do I tip? How much should I tip? How much do YOU tip? etc.... [moved from Ontario board]

I always consult with my wife. I think of the work that the server has done and all the other interfaces with the staff. Then I tip dollar amounts -- no calculations involved.

A fine dining place offers more interfaces, thus a higher dollar amount.

This usually works, and I end up tipping phenomenally high at the summer/winterlicious lunches we eat because the service is worth it.

Equal tip for equal work.

Jul 15, 2014
Dean Tudor in Not About Food
1

SUMMERLICIOUS 2014

To their credit, Splendido issued a warning on the lunch menu online about smaller lunchtime portions. I think most of the dinner menu is available at lunch, but smaller in size.

Jul 09, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

SUMMERLICIOUS 2014

Charles -- thanks. My faves over the past few years have been lunches at Bloom, Quince, Pangaea, Chiado, Frida, I don't do dinners.

Jul 04, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Great date restaurants that are open on Mondays?

oooops, there is also Scaramouche Dining Room and Pasta Bar on Mondays.

Jun 25, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Great date restaurants that are open on Mondays?

Monday is tuff. I can only think Asian...

Jun 25, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Terra Delyssa Organic Tunisian Extra Virgin Olive Oil - New at Costco

Taste was not up to my standards of what olive oil should taste like -- We used up our two bottles as "adjuncts", when an oil was called for -- best thing to do with olive oil that tastes too light. Makes good soap and cosmetic base, as well as oil to use when covering tomatoes, mushrooms, etc. Candles too...

Jun 12, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

If anybody is still interested in Summerlicious 2014, menus posted at...

For the last several years we have only done lunches. Some restos are not normally open for lunch, and Frida (Mexican) is one of them -- but they are open for the Licious programs. Many of the $15 lunches look attractive, and this price has held for a dozen years. But Quince has moved from $15 to $20. Some formerly $20 lunches are now $25.

Jun 12, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

If anybody is still interested in Summerlicious 2014, menus posted at...

Jun 11, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Ice Cream, 2014

Lotta calories in that extra sugar..........

Jun 06, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1

Ice Cream, 2014

Yesterday I loaded up with a pile of Greg's one-litres at $12 per. Today I scored a few PC ice creams at $5 a half-litre.

They won't last long, but I can play around with them in my freezer. I'll save my ice cream maker for yogurts and granites, sorbets, and easy to make stuff...

Jun 05, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Nominations for LCBO Vintages Release June 7 -- your call

====?>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *UNDER* $20

Lanzerac Chardonnay 2011 WO Stellenbosch, +971929, $16.95: yummy BF chardonnay with 11 months French oak BA, cork finish, 14% ABV. Butterscotch and wood tones, naturally. QPT: 91+.

====?>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *OVER* $20

Chateau Roc St-Michel 2009 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classe, +366639, $28.95

TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $20 or so.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
1.Torino Estate Don David Reserve Torrontes 2012 Cafayate, +727677, $13.95: good depth and long finish, 14% ABV, firm and fruity, the wine of Toronto! Gold Medalist, cork finish. QPR: 89.
2.Nugan King Valley Frasca's Lane Chardonnay 2012 Victoria, +288191, $19.95: personable wooded chardonnay for those who like concentrated flavours. Twist top. QPR: 89.
3.Pierre Lieubeau La Grille Single Estate Muscadet 2012, +377051, $15.95: good bracing acidity, try with oysters. 12% ABV, twist top. From a delimited area. QPR: 89.
4.E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2012, +290296, $18.95: people have lined up for this modestly-priced wine. 13.5%, cork finish, good value. 65% viognier, lotsa peaches and flowers, and succulence. QPR: 89.
5.La Cappuccina Soave 2013, +81489, $15.95: while some have said “you don't go to Italy for white wine”, this one is surprisingly fresh with melons and citric tones. First course wine. 12% ABV, cork finish. QPR: 89.

TOP VALUE RED WINES under $20 or so.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
1.Creekside Laura's Red 2010 VQA Niagara, +117960, $19.95: over the years, people have beaten a path to Creekside for this wine: a cab sauv/merlot/syrah/malbec blend. It is over-the-top dense, with concentrated jammy black fruit, mocha and toast (hmmm, sounds like breakfast). Twist top, 13.5% ABV. QPR: 90.
2.Palo Alto Winemaker's Selection 2010 Maule, +376236, $18.95: this tight tasting Chilean expression of wine is a good price for something to lay down a bit. Components are shiraz/cabsauv/carmenere/merlot/petite sirah, wrapped in 14.5% ABV with a cork finish. Good price. QPR: 89.
3.Chapoutier Domaine Tournon Mathilda Shiraz 2011 Victoria, +327395, $19.95: very syrah-like, Northern Rhone-ish, 13% ABV, and value-driven. Twist top. QPR: 90.
4.The Winner's Tank Shiraz 2012 Langhorne Creek, +374348, $17.95: another very intense syrah wine with MVC flavours of black fruit and spices. 14.8% ABV, twist top. QPR: 89.
5.Zonte's Footstep Lake Doctor Shiraz 2012 Langhorne Creek, +72975, $16.95: highly acclaimed medal winner, affordable value, some viognier added (small print on back label), twist top, 14.5% ABV. Ripe, rich, red juiciness. QPR: 89.
6.Boyer Domergue Carignanissime de Centeilles 2010 Minervois, +41913, $18.95: concentrated garrigue on the nose and palate, resolving on finish with toast. Very good wine with length, substance for sipping. 14.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
7.Feudi San Pio Valpolicella Classico Ripasso Superiore 2012, +181446, $17.95: the LCBO “ripasso of the month”. QPR: 89.
8.Maria Manuela Quinta do Roncao Reserva 2011 Douro, +147942, $15.95: with soft and fruity tones, this high performance wine has strong North American appeal. Made from the Port grapes of T.franca, T.roriz and T.nacional, 14% ABV. QPR: 89.
9.Breca Old Vines Garnacha 2010 Catalayud, +329086, $19.95: vines are almost 90 years old. The LCBO “garnacha of the month”. QPR: 89.

VALUE: “RESTAURANT READY” or “BRING YOUR OWN WINE BOTTLE” over $20
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

1.Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Marlborough, +366310, $29.95 retail.
2.Domaine Chenevieres Chablis 2012, +365031, $22.95.
3.Terredora di Paola Loggia della Serra Greco di Tufo 2012, +983197, $20.95.
4.Thirty Bench Red 2011 VQA Beamsville Bench, +320986, $24.
5.I Latina Syrah 2010 Cachapoal Valley Chile, +371120, $22.95.
6.Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier Lieu di Malakoff Shiraz 2011 Pyrennes Victoria, +290874,$55.95.
7.Grant Burge The Holy Trinity Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvedre 2010 Barossa, +236257, $29.95.
8.Wynns Coonawarra Estate Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, +84996, $27.95.

Jun 03, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1

where to buy rennet for cheese making?

Thanks -- I did find some Junket Rennet at Loblaw (Maple Leaf Garden), so will try it this weekend...

May 30, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Fathers Day Brunches in Toronto

Thanks for digging this up...However,...

...It doesn't look too interesting since it is just a steak or chop with sorbet dessert. They could at least offered full ice cream...No app, no variety with desserts, not even a cheese platter -- for $38???

May 30, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

where to buy rennet for cheese making?

Thanks,but I asked them about a year ago -- they'd sell me a gallon or so of the stuff, enough for my cheese and my kids cheese into the next century!!!

They couldn't send me anything smaller...

May 29, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

where to buy rennet for cheese making?

I am still looking for rennet .. does anybody have any ideas?

May 29, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Fathers Day Brunches in Toronto

Are there any Fathers Day brunches in Toronto, specifically addressing "Father", not just a regular Sunday brunch..?

Bloom in BWV has one

http://bloomrestaurant.com/menu-2/fat...

May 28, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Good Spot for 40th Birthday

Daytime -- Gallery Grill, Hart House

Nighttime - Quince has a separate room

May 26, 2014
Dean Tudor in Ontario (inc. Toronto)